Paula and Linda Reitan were all smiles after receiving a $650 donation from Encorp Pacific. The recycling company

Paula and Linda Reitan were all smiles after receiving a $650 donation from Encorp Pacific. The recycling company

Bottle business bonus

  • Feb. 16, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Castlegar residents Paula, 11, and Linda, 6, Reitan’s bottle collecting business has seen a huge jump in profit since their bottles were stolen in December thanks to a few whopping donations.

Last month, the Castlegar News ran a story regarding the thefts, and mom Leanne said new and old customers began calling the family right away.

“We did quite a few pickups that weekend, and the girls were happy to hear all the nice things that people had to say about their business,” Leanne said.

The next week, the family received even better news.

Jessica Hogendoorn, marketing coordinator for Encorp Pacific in Burnaby, phoned Leanne with praise, telling her she didn’t want Paula and Linda’s hard work to go unrewarded after the thefts.

“First, she said that they would like to reimburse us $150 for the bottles that were stolen,” Leanne said. “Then, she said that Encorp Pacific wanted to make sure that my girls would be able to continue the business that was so important to them and which was such a benefit to the community – and that to that end, they would like to offer an additional $500 to allow us to make our collecting & sorting depot more secure!”

“When my sister and I heard this, we screamed so loudly!” Paula said. “It was just so exciting! I am so glad it was published.”

Paula said they also received a donation of a shed and a discount price on lumber to build a base from RONA.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the businesses who helped us out solving our dilemma,” Paula said.

“More of the funds will be used to purchase locking hardware, shelving and a motion sensor light to discourage night-time prowlers,” Leanne explained. “We’re still considering a moat stocked with alligators around the perimeter, but happily this may no longer be necessary.”

“I am so happy!” Linda said.

Leanne said the girls are thrilled they will be able to continue supporting the SPCA through their business.

“Paula and Linda have gained renewed energy to tackle the dirty and tiring job of sorting and redeeming the cans and bottles, as well as renewed faith in human nature and a feeling that their community supports and cares about them.”

To donate bottles, contact the family at 365-3132 or